Adampan (Attampana) village is situated in the Manthai West Assistant GA Division in the Mannar district and falls within the Mannar rice bowl hence making it a farming village. Adampan, since the advent of Eelam war I has bared the brunt of conflict between Government forces and the the Tamil Tigers in securing the coastal areas surrounding Mannar.
Lt. Gen Kobbekaduwa during Eelam war II carried out a series of operations on the backdrop of severe threats posed to SLA bases at SILAVATHURAI, KOKKUPADAYAN. The main objective was to interdict Tiger supply lines along the Mannar coast that were smuggling much needed supplies into Wanni hideouts. Operation Tiger chase was launched as a result in the general area of ADAMPAN, ARIPPU and PARAPPAKADANTHAN areas of Mannar. This was supported by subsequent operations to clear up fleeing Tiger cadres code named Operation Brush up. This focused mainly along the A20/A14 West of VAVUNIYA.
Since the success of General Kobbekaduwa, due to successive policy shifts brought about by successive elected governments, the areas fell to the Tamil Tigers during the period of 1991 to 1997. The same area at least the South of it came within the cross hairs of the military again only in February 1997 when Operation Edibala was launched by the 53 Division led by Brig Vasantha Perera and Brig Nanda Mallawarachchi. The aim was to capture the A14 plying from POOVARASANKULAM To MANNAR. This was a prerequisite to the lengthy Jayasikurui campaign.
Coming onto Eelamwar IV with the loss of vast swathes of the Eastern shores, and the permanent naval blockade by the SLN along the VETTILEIKERNI - KOKKUTUDUVAI coast, the Western coast running from MANNAR to POONERYN has become the sole supply route of the Tamil Tigers. From the SLA's point of view with the MSR A9 from OMANTHAI to MUHAMALE being out of bounds, the A32 from Illupaikaduwai, Pooneryn to Jaffna across the Sangupiddy ferry runs an ideal prospect of being an alternative till the A9 is liberated from Omanthai to Muhamale. The added advantage of the A32 is unlike the A9 the A32 route needs to be defended from only one flank (East). If this is to be achieved, the Western coast becomes equally valuable to the SLA as it is to the Tamil Tigers. The third dimension is the added advantage to India. With the great majority of refugee influx originating from this same coastal belt it can seriously reduce the number of refugee influx to Tamil Nadu. The fourth added benefit is for the SLN where the shallow waters of the Mannar basin hampers its Super Dvora FACs operating, making only the lightly armoured IPC waterjets operate to interdict Tamil Tiger smuggling activities. Thus securing this coastal stretch will significantly reduce the threats posed to SLN waterjets and its personnel from superior if not swarming fleets of Sea Tigers.
This is the backdrop for the battles for Adampan and its surroundings.
The first major thrust took place on December 1st 2007 when MANTHAI north of ADAMPAN was captured. This came as a surprise to the Tamil Tigers stationed at ADAMPAN since they expected the thrust to come about from PALLIKULLI located South of ADAMPAN. Seeing the overall plan of SLA to circumvent ADAMPAN the Tamil Tigers launched a fierce counter attack as early as the next day to no avail. Backed by the lack of preparedness of the LTTE, 582 brigade made further inroads on the 11th of December 2007 capturing NARIKKULAM and on the 27th December, strong points of CHETTUKKULAM (9GW), close to ADAMPAN junction. Further limited operations were carried out intermittently bringing the road joining CHETTUKKULAM and THIRUKETHISWARAM under control. Currently they are holding positions just under 1Km from the ADAMPAN junction (just ahead of CHETTUKKULAM).
The second major thrust took place South of ADAMPAN on 22nd of December 2007 when 581 brigade (10 GR) took on the UYILANKULAM road block of the Tamil Tigers. After securing the UYILANKULAM area 581 brigade troops tactically moved along the Giant's tank bund with one flank to defend. 8 GW troops of 581 Brigade reached SINNAODAIPPU sluice gates and its adjacent areas north of GIANT TANK by 28th February 2008.
While the 581 brigade was moving North of Giant's tank troops attached to 583 brigade - 6 GW and 9 GW made their thrust towards PALLAKULLI capturing VIYATTANKULAM in the general area of VANNANKULAM on 29th of January 2008. Just a week later on the 8th of February 2008, 8 SR of 583 ensured the fall of the South of the now defunct ADAMPAN tank.
On the back of a diversionary move by 583 brigade, troops of 581 captured the all important ANDANKULAM junction on the 4th of March 2008 bringing the UYILANKULAM-ANDANKULAM road under government control. This is of significant strategic value since the road east of the junction continues up to the Madhu church.
With these developments 581 brigade at the time of posting are positioned under 1 Km East of ADAMPAN at MANTHOTTI and NEDUNKANDAL with a firmly secured ANDANKULAM junction while 583 brigade are stationed at the newly captured PARAPPAKANDAL town. This is roughly 1Km from ADAMPAN.
With this status quo the next step would be 581 and 582 to initiate movements towards ADAMPAN junction, linking up in the process and completely securing the stretch of road plying from ANDANKULAM to THIRUKETHISWARAM. This also means that ADAMPAN town is 'boxed' in as the map suggests bringing the town and its vast surrounding area of the Mannar rice bowl to the hands of the military. Once the town is strangulated by the two pincers (581, 582), 583 brigade can be expected to make its entry into the town centre.
The network of tanks and irrigation systems in this area has made paddy farming the primary source of livelihood for its inhabitants. This rice bowl also means the area is open terrain, ideal for snipers and indirect fire support. At the area North of this green belt - roughly located at the VAUNIYA-MANNAR border - jungle terrain begins. These jungles are known to continue up to the suburbs of KILINOCHCHI. With roughly 50 SqKms under its belt, once the 58 division manages to secure remaining rice bowl, it can seriously dent the Tamil Tigers' fire support brigades which long has been a nemesis for advancing troops.
With the ADAMPAN box firmly within its grasp, the SLA has the opportunity of joining the all important A32:
- From North of ADAMPAN junction via MULLIKANDAL and MINUKKAN towards PAPPAMODDAI
- From North of ANDANKULAM junction via KANNADI and PARAPPUKADANTHAN west
- From North of THIRUKETHISWARAM via PAPPAMODAI
Whatever the option SLA takes, it will not be welcome news to the Tamil Tigers. With the supply sea routes fast shrinking with its overseas arms network in close scrutiny than never before, it will attempt to defend its sea bases tooth and nail. One such base of particular interest to the SLA is VIDULAITIVU, notorious for its sea smuggling operations conducted to and from Tamil Nadu safe houses. Unfortunately for the Tamil Tigers this base lies in close proximity to the A32 making any siege against the sea base fall perfectly in line with SLA's long term goals.